Basic Swing Out Turns

Turns in a swing out work best if both the lead & the follow have a loose connection between the “open” side of their connection (where you’re just holding hands). If either the lead or follow is too tense, it can make this move more difficult or even painful.

Outside Turn in 2nd Half of Swing Out

Start a swing out normally. As a lead, make sure you’re directly in front of the follow and your shoulders are square on 4.

On 5, the lead should lift the follow’s right hand into the air and pass it over her head; this will cause the follow to turn to the outside. The follow should continue her footwork normally and turn using a triple step.

Inside Turn in 2nd half of Swing Out

Lead footwork: Complete the first half of a swing out normally (steps 1-4). On 4, bring your left hand in and slightly up. On 5, lift your left hand across the follow’s face and over her head; pull forward on the follow with your right hand (in the general direction you would like her to travel).

Tip: make sure you step out of the way on 5 so that the follow can turn down a straight line. Finish 6-8 normally.

Follow footwork: Complete the first half of a swing out normally (steps 1-4). On 4, the lead will bring your right hand across your body and slightly up; you should know he’s about to do something. On 5, the lead will lift his hand across your face and over your head. Always turn in the direction of least resistance – here he has left a window for you to step forward and turn clockwise. On 5-6, use the step-step to turn.

Tip: try to feel the general direction where the lead is telling you to go. Does he want you to finish where you started? Does he want your turn to happen at an angle? Whichever direction he pulls, try to turn straight down that line.


All Turns from Swing Outs: when possible, use the triple steps on 7-8 to straighten back up with your partner. This applies to both leads and follows – it is each individual’s responsibility to line back up. 


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